New Elvet Bridge in Durham has been closed for almost a year due to major renovation works. So how is the project going, and when will the bridge reopen?
New Elvet Bridge in Durham City Centre was closed in 2020 to carry out essential structural repairs to make the bridge structurally sound. Since then, the bridge has been closed to all traffic, including vehicles and pedestrians.
When will New Elvet Bridge reopen?
New Elvet Bridge closed in July 2020, and is due to reopen at the end of October 2021. It will reopen to both vehicles and pedestrians.
What work is being carried out, and how is it progressing?
The New Elvet Bridge works - by contractors Balfour Beatty - have involved the lifting and supporting of the central section of the bridge whilst work is undertaken on the deck joints, alongside extensive concrete repairs. The bridge deck is also being waterproofed and resurfaced to extend the life of the bridge.
Other work has included improving drainage systems and adding protective coatings to the concrete, giving waterproof protection to the structure.
The central span of the bridge has now been lowered back into position, allowing the project to move into the final phases. However, during the work, contractors discovered that further concrete repairs were needed, meaning the bridge will reopen at the end of October.
There are still some areas of concrete which require replacement, which Durham County Council says will result in some disturbance as the defective concrete is removed, similar to that which has already been ongoing. The council says this will be kept to a minimum, with these works expected to be complete by July.
Meanwhile, diversion routes will remain in place until the bridge reopens.
Durham County Council's corporate director for neighbourhoods and climate change Alan Patrickson said: "This is a complex civil engineering project and it is really important for the city as it is a vital link.
"Our contractors have been working through the coronavirus pandemic and prolonged winter weather. Despite these challenges, we can assure everyone that excellent progress is being made. We are working closely with our contractor to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.
"We would like to thank drivers as well as nearby residents and businesses for their continued patience during these essential works. We do understand that the closure of New Elvet Bridge has caused disruption but it is important that these projects are completed to the highest standards."